The Bookshop At Water’s End by Patti Callahan Henry

  • Title:  The Bookshop At Water’s End
  • Author:  Patti Callahan Henry
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  352
  • Published:  July 2017 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher; Tandem Literary

My take:  When Bonny and Lainey were girls their families were summer friends in the small coastal town of Water’s End. They did everything together and were even called the “Summer Sisters” by some of the locals. The summer they were 13 something horrible happened and their families never returned to Water’s End. Bonny’s family owned the house where both families stayed and now Bonny was the owner. She’d fixed it up and rented it out over the years but now she was going to prepare to sell it. That was the plan but one night changed everything. Bonny, an ER doctor, makes an error that has devastating consequences. She decided to retreat to Water’s End and take her 19-year-old daughter Piper with her. Piper just flunked out of her first year of college and finds solace in a bottle of Jack Daniels. Mother and daughter need a change and Bonny hopes the river house will help. She also calls Lainey who promised to be there any time Bonny needed her. They’d both made that promise. The thing is, Lainey never wants to see Water’s End again. It holds so many bad memories. Like the true friend she is though she packs up her two young children and heads back to Bonny.

The three women will support and maybe even help each other find answers to large and small questions. I love novels like this – a lovely, lush setting, positive women, and relatable challenges. Patti Callahan Henry’s story pulled me in and I enjoyed every minute spent with her characters. I loved the words of wisdom shared by Mimi, the bookstore owner. “The soul needs story and meaning to help us endure this life… Books can be medicine for the heart...”  I know this to be true.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling author whose novels include The Idea of Love, Driftwood Summer, and The Art of Keeping Secrets. She lives with her husband and three children in Mountain Brook, Alabama.

TOUR DATES:

Visit http://www.patticallahanhenry.com/events/ for the full tour details.

Birmingham, AL • July 10
Decatur, GA • July 11
Woodstock, GA • July 12
Charleston, SC • July 13
Florence, SC • July 13
Pawley’s Island, SC • July 14
Beaufort, SC • July 14
Bluffton, SC • July 15
Savannah, GA • July 15
Columbia, SC • July 16
Maryville, TN • July 17
Lake Lure, NC • July 18
Laurens, SC • July 18
Hochston, GA • July 19
Marietta, GA • July 19
Dothan, AL • July 20
Apalachicola, FL • July 20
Panama City, FL • July 21
Spartanburg, SC • July 22
Greenville, SC • July 23
Nashville, TN • July 27
Macon, GA • July 31
Fair Haven, NJ • August 2
Manasquan, NJ • August 3

PRAISE FOR THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END

“With an eloquent and effective narrative, a realistic continuing theme of unbreakable relationship bonds, and a fantastic multilayered story line of secrets, regrets, and a good dose of teenage drama, this is a solid summer read.” Library Journal

The Bookshop at Water’s End carries us along the graceful curves and outwardly serene storyline of two childhood friends returning to their summer riverside home. But like the river she writes about, Patti’s plot roils with strong undercurrents of murky secrets, tragedy and the pulsing tides of self-discovery. No one writes about the power of family and friends like Patti Callahan Henry. The Bookshop at Water’s End is a must-read for your summer!” —Mary Alice MonroeNew York Times bestselling author of Beach House for Rent

“Patti Callahan Henry’s stories are always woven with magic and mystery, and The Bookshop at Water’s End knots these elements into a deeply satisfying and heartfelt tale of loss and betrayal, friendship and forgiveness. The sun is shining, the tide is turning, summer and Patti Henry’s latest masterpiece beckon. Resistance is futile!” —Mary Kay AndrewsNew York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders

“Patti Callahan Henry has written the best novel of her career with The Bookshop at Water’s End. I absolutely adored it and predict it will be one of the most loved books of the year.  In fact, it’s so good I wish I’d written it myself!” —Dorothea Benton FrankNew York Times bestselling author of Same Beach, Next Year

“I adore Patti Callahan Henry’s new novel. The Bookshop at Water’s End is a juicy summer read about family secrets, forgotten friendships, and the power of books to change our lives.” —Jane GreenNew York Times bestselling author of The Sunshine Sisters

“From the very first page, Patti Callahan Henry draws you in like the tide, revealing long simmering secrets that will test family and friendships and explores the question: do we tell our stories or do our stories tell us? In lush, lyrical prose, Henry explores the power of forgiveness, especially in ourselves. Every page was a treat.” —Laura Lane McNeal, bestselling author of Dollbaby


 

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The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry

  • the idea of love (6:23) St.MartinsPressTitle:  The Idea of Love
  • Author:  Patti Callahan Henry
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pub. date:  June 23, 2015 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  As we like to say in the south, “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story.”

Ella’s life has been completely upended. She’s young, beautiful, and deeply in love–until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident while trying save her. Or so she’ll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers’ block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He’s on the look-out for a love story. It doesn’t matter who it belongs to. 

When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It’s the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It’s an opportunity to live out a fantasy – the life she wishes she had because hers is too painful. And more real. Besides. what’s a little white lie between strangers? 

But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their own lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. And so they wonder: can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?  (publisher)

My take: Ella and Hunter have not had success in the love department.  So what can happen if they embellish the truth when they meet? They won’t see each other again so what’s the harm in telling a few fibs?

Patti Callahan Henry’s novel explores reality vs. the way we think love should be. I felt kind of sorry for Ella. She’s been left by the people she loved. Her mother died in a horrible way and her husband found the love of his life (not Ella, apparently). And then her boss does some shady things. I’d have been surprised if Ella didn’t go a little crazy.

Hunter’s last few films have been critical flops. He needs to write a winning script or he’ll be done in Hollywood. When he ends up in Ella’s town looking for ideas he can’t believe his luck when he meets her. Unable to resist Ella’s story, he takes the facts of her sad tale and writes a script. He’s lied to her about his identity and job so she’ll never find out what he’s done with her story.

My favorite character was the woman who lived below Ella’s (temporary) apartment. Mimi was colorful and imparted wisdom like a fairy godmother. She quietly forced Ella to get out of her own head and start asking herself the important questions.

Confused yet? I wasn’t. I liked the novel even though I thought the end a bit too Hollywood. There would be a few things for book groups to discuss – most importantly the idea of love and how one might be tempted to try to make it reality.


Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times bestselling storyteller of eleven books, including The Stories We TellBetween the Tides, and Driftwood Summer. Patti lives in Mountain Brook, Alabama with her husband and three children, where she is crafting her next story.


 

The Stories We Tell: A Novel by Patti Callahan Henry

  • the stories we tell (Sept4)Title:  The Stories We Tell: A Novel
  • Author:  Patti Callahan Henry
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  June 2014 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Sullivan and Partners

Synopsis:  Eve and Cooper Morrison are Savannah’s power couple. They’re on every artistic board and deeply involved in the community. She owns and operates a letterpress studio specializing in the handmade; he runs a digital magazine featuring all things southern gentlemen. The perfect juxtaposition of the old and the new, Eve and Cooper are the beautiful people. The lucky ones. And they have the wealth and name that comes from being part of an old Georgia family. But things may not be as good as they seem. Eve’s sister, Willa, is staying with the family until she gets “back on her feet.” Their daughter, Gwen, is all adolescent rebellion. And Cooper thinks Eve works too much. Still, the Morrison marriage is strong. After twenty-one years together, Eve and Cooper know each other. They count on each other. They know what to expect. But when Cooper and Willa are involved in a car accident, the questions surrounding the event bring the family close to breaking point. Sifting between the stories—what Cooper says, what Willa remembers, what the evidence indicates—Eve has to find out what really happened. And what she’s going to do about it.  (publisher)

My take:  The Stories We Tell opens with a storm brewing outside Eve Morrison’s window one evening. To her it feels like an omen. Her feeling proves correct when a policeman arrives to take her to a hospital where her husband and sister have been admitted after a car accident. Eve can’t figure out why they would’ve been in the car together. That is just the first of many questions she’ll be seeking answers to.

Eve married Cooper for good reasons (she’d told herself) but now she wonders if they were the right reasons. The last straw is when Cooper blames Willa (Eve’s sister) for the car accident. Eve is certain he is hiding something and wonders if she can trust her husband anymore. On top of that, their seventeen-year-old daughter is acting out big time. It’s all Eve can do just to keep the peace in her own house. What will she do when her questions are answered?

Patti Callahan Henry’s novel is about a marriage and appearances and what happens when appearances aren’t what they seem. It’s about the fallout from fibs and stories and lies.I loved how all the strings of the story were woven together by the end of the novel. I wouldn’t expect to feel any other way about one of Patti Callahan Henry’s books. I’m a fan and recommend The Stories We Tell to fans of the author and Contemporary Southern Fiction.

Spotlight on: And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry

and then I found youTwenty-two years ago, New York Times bestselling author, Patti Callahan Henry’s sister placed a baby girl for adoption. Then in April 2010, a Facebook request put an end to all the waiting and wondering. Patti’s sister’s daughter had found her.

Henry’s latest novel, AND THEN I FOUND YOU, coming this April 2013, is a unique story inspired by Henry’s personal family history with adoption.  The novel, much like the true story, is a compelling narrative of love lost, love found, and a miraculous reunion that changed everyone’s lives forever.

Told from the points of view of birth mother, Kate Vaughn, and her thirteen year-old daughter Emily, AND THEN I FOUND YOU (St. Martin’s Press; Hardcover; April 9, 2013; 272 pp.) spans over twenty years and follows the characters as they move through their lives in South Carolina, Arizona, Alabama and New York.  Now thirty-four years old, Kate seems finally ready to begin her life with someone else, but memories keep holding her back.  In her wish to conquer her painful past, Kate decides to visit Jack, the father of the baby she placed for adoption many years before.  Their reunion and an unexpected Facebook request starts a chain reaction that will change not only Kate’s life, but that of her loved ones too. AND THEN I FOUND YOU is ultimately a story about brave choices, our yearning for certainty and the courage it takes to find our place in the world.

About PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY:

Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times Bestselling novelist. She has published nine novels (Losing the Moon, Where the Patti Callahan HenryRiver Runs, When Light Breaks, Between the Tides, The Art of Keeping Secrets, and Driftwood Summer, The Perfect Love Song, Coming up for Air and the upcoming And Then I Found You –April 2013, St. Martins Press). Patti has been hailed as a fresh new voice in southern fiction, appearing in numerous magazines (Good Housekeeping; SKIRT; The South; Southern Living, etc..). She has been short-listed for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. She has been nominated four different times for the Southeastern Independent Booksellers Fiction Novel of the Year. Her work is published in five languages and all novels are on Brilliance Audio.  Two of her novels were OKRA picks and Coming up For Air was an Indie Next choice. Patti is a frequent speaker at fundraisers, library events and book festivals, discussing the importance of storytelling. Her next novel, AND THEN I FOUND YOU, will be released on April, 9th, 2013 by St. Martins Press. Patti Callahan Henry is a full time writer, wife and mother of three living in Mountain Brook, AL.

Spotlight: Wildflower Wishes Book App

New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry’s new book app WILDFLOWER WISHES is available for downloads now. It is the first book app EVER to be created through the inspiration of one scene from a novel, rather than encompassing the entire novel itself or focusing on the author Inspired by a gorgeous garden scene in Callahan Henry’s latest COMING UP FOR AIR (paperback; May 22, 2012; St. Martin’s Griffin) the Wildflower Wishes App is a greeting app created by a dream design team at Chronicle LLC.  The free app comes with five wildflower icons that hold a special meaning (I’m sorry; I love you; Good luck.)  Additional wildflowers can be purchased for $0.99 – and all can be sent to email, other WW friends or Facebook along with a heartfelt personal message – with just the click of a finger!  It is a gentle and simple gesture that can be shared to celebrate graduation, birthdays, anniversaries and more. The paperback edition of COMING UP FOR AIR will feature the QR code for the Wildflower Wishes App on the cover!  How cool is that?

Flowers that will be initially available with others added for special occasions:

Infinite Love – Bellflower

I Am Grateful – Bluebells

Sending Encouragement — Black Eyed Susan

Thinking of You – Zinnia

A Mother’s Love – Impatiens

Pure Loyal Love — Daisy

Bond of Love — Honeysuckle

Purple Hyacinth — I am sorry; Please forgive me

Don’t forget me — Forget me not

I will never forget you – Everlasting

Sending Protection — White Heather

Sending Cheer — Crocus

Sending Courage and Daring — Edelweiss

Sending Good Luck — Clover

Sending Perserverance — Chicory

Farewell — sweet pea

Secret Love — Acacia

Love at First Sight – Gloxinia

♥  ♥  ♥

This is a Forget-Me-Not.  You hit SEND, the flower will post wherever you like with the following “Don’t Forget Me” message, and then you can attach a personal note.

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I’m intrigued and plan to check it out!

You can read my review of Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry here.

Coming Up For Air by Patti Callahan Henry

Title:  Coming Up For Air

Author:  Patti Callahan Henry

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  August 2011, St. Martin’s Press

About:  (from the Goodreads synopsis) Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband – between her reality and the woman she wants to be – she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life.

But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie’s world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother’s funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie’s not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother’s things, she discovers a hidden diary – and a window onto stories buried long ago.

My take:  I enjoyed Ellie’s journey of discovery about her mother and herself. While searching for answers about her mother Ellie faces facts about her own life and what it could be.

The setting is lush and, for the most part, the characters are endearing. Characters and plot aside, I think my favorite part of the novel was learning about a jubilee – that time when conditions are right and sea life come up for air. It served as a metaphor for Ellie’s life and her journey.

This is a book I think many women, especially women who’ve married and raised a family, will understand. I’m not saying it’s every woman’s story but there are emotions and aspects that I believe many of us can relate to. I’ve found that to be true  with most of Patti Callahan Henry’s novels and that’s why I’m a fan.

Source:  Wunderkind PR

The Perfect Love Song: A Holiday Story by Patti Callahan Henry

Title: The Perfect Love Song

Author: Patti Callahan Henry

Genre: Fiction

About: (book blurb) Jimmy Sullivan has been living on the road with his brother, Jack, and his band The Unknown Souls. Without a place to call home, Jimmy and Jack lead a nomadic life filled with music and anonymous cities. When they return to a place Jimmy never wants to see again —their old hometown of Seaboro, South Carolina —he falls in love with Charlotte Carrington. With his soul now filled with hope, Jimmy writes his first love song. When he performs it at a holiday concert to a standing ovation, the lyrics are dubbed the ““Perfect Love Song,” so much so that Jimmy finds himself going on tour with famous country music stars, catapulted into a world where the trappings of fame and fortune reign supreme. All too soon, the hope that had once inspired Jimmy to write such beautiful, genuine lyrics is overshadowed by what the song can do for him and his career. In his thirst for recognition, he agrees to miss Jack’s wedding in Ireland to sing at a Christmas Eve concert. And his ties to Charlotte seem to be ever so quickly slipping away. Alone in New York City on Christmas Eve, Jimmy finally sees —with the help of a Christmas miracle or two —that his material gains are nothing compared to love, that he is losing all that really matters in his life. Is it too late to find his way to Ireland, to his brother, and to love?

Descriptive Words: A sweet and magical tale of love and forgiveness.

Thoughts: Grab a cup of tea and curl up with this love story.  If you read the author’s novel When Light Breaks you’ll be pleased to know that characters from that book are in The Perfect Love Song. Brothers Jimmy and Jack Sullivan are musicians on the rise to fame.  They also happen to love Charlotte and Kara who are best friends.  One Christmas Jimmy’s gift to Charlotte is a song that he wrote.  That song eventually attracts attention from a concert producer which changes things for the brothers, their band, and most importantly, Jimmy and Charlotte.

This is a light tale of love and forgiveness and the chance that is taken by being open to both.  I enjoyed the magical, almost mythical, tone of the novel. I wasn’t sure who the narrator was until the end but it made sense and made me smile.  I wish the main characters had been a bit more developed.  I’m not sure if it’s because I haven’t read When Light Breaks, the fact that it’s a short book (224 pages), or if it’s just me,  but I didn’t connect with them.  That said, if you’re looking for a bit of an escape during the busy holidays, this could be the book for you.

Source: Library

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Why I Chose: I’ve enjoyed other books by the author;  it’s on the Okra Picks challenge list.

Recommend? Maybe, to fans of Patti Callahan Henry and a sweet love story.